"What we are seeing in Russia are methods from the Stalin era. People simply disappear. It's a proud Russian tradition, and Putin is getting good at it," assesses Norwegian Russia researcher Iver B. Neumann, as reported by the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet.
The news of Vladimir Nekrasov's death came just a few weeks ago. The cause was stated as 'acute heart failure'.
Nekrasov was the third top executive of the energy giant Lukoil to have suddenly died since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Many other wealthy businessmen – oligarchs – in the same industry have also met with sudden deaths.
These sudden deaths have struck a series of other prominent and wealthy business people in remarkable ways.
For instance, Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin died in a plane crash in August.
Anatoly Gerashchenko, former long-time leader of Moscow's aviation institute, died in September after falling down "many stairs". Others have fallen out of windows or, like Nekrasov, suffered sudden heart problems, both in Russia and abroad.
"Many of these individuals are linked to the oil and gas sector, a sector hit hard by sanctions," points out Aage Borchgrevin from the Norwegian Helsinki Committee to Dagbladet.
"These are tough times, and they are fighting over what they have. I think some of the killings are a signal from the Kremlin that they need to stay disciplined."
Last year, British-American financier Bill Browder, who previously invested heavily in Russia, observed after many deaths: "When people in the same industry die in this way, it looks to me like a murder epidemic," he told ABC News.
As previously mentioned, countless citizens considered harmful to society were eradicated under Joseph Stalin's leadership in the Soviet Union.